Kids can watch the Grinch’s heart grow at new ‘Come Visit Whoville’ event Saturday

BUCKHANNON – On Saturday, everyone is called to gather – the tall and the small, the young and the old – to celebrate the Christmas season and “Come Visit Whoville,” an event co-sponsored by the Buckhannon-Upshur Retail Merchants Association and the North Kanawha Street Merchants.

The event will feature a variety of activities for kids, who will have the opportunity to meet the mean ole Grinch and Cindy Lou Who, as well as Santa and Mrs. Claus. The adventure runs from 4 to 6 p.m. on North Kanawha Street in Buckhannon.

Jerry Henderson, who owns the Baxa Inn with her husband Bruce, is the current president of BURMA. She said there will be tons of fun activities during the Come Visit Whoville event, based on the ever-popular children’s film, “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.”

“The Grinch will be on site as will Cindy Lou Who for the children to get autographs and photos. We are encouraging parents and grandparents to bring their cellphones and cameras to get lots of photos,” Henderson said. “There will be a nativity scene and then Santa’s Workshop. It will be set up to show the change that the Grinch made from his mean self through to his realization that there is good, and that that good is exhibited through Christmas.”

Also, during the event, the children will be given a bag, and as they go through the stations, elves will give offer up candy and treats. During the event, there will be music playing and multiple activity tables.

“At the end of the Whoville journey, children will receive free cookies and hot chocolate,” Henderson said. “The starting point for the Come Visit Whoville event is at the Baxa Inn in Buckhannon at 4 p.m.”

Henderson said businesses located on North Kanawha Street are decorating in the Whoville theme. The event is planned as a child-friendly event to showcase the many shopping and dining opportunities located on North Kanawha Street in Buckhannon.

“I think a lot of people don’t realize there are five restaurants on North Kanawha. We have Miss Piggies, we have B&L Friendly Kitchen, the restaurant at the Buckhannon Moose Lodge, a restaurant at the Elks Lodge No. 1736 and Audrey’s Downtown Restaurant. We have one community bar, The Social Bar and Grilled Cheese.”

Henderson said the area also has three local attorneys, a real estate office, a barber shop, two hotels, the Upshur County Senior Center and other small businesses.

“We have lots of things to offer families looking for services or products,” Henderson said. “We want the public to be more aware of what we have to offer.”

Henderson said BURMA’s sole purpose is to help small businesses thrive and be successful by advertising.

After witnessing the Grinch’s miraculous transformation, grab all your friends and loved ones, a warm blanket to share, and scurry down to Jawbone Park for another fun holiday activity. The City of Buckhannon is offering Winter Wonderland Wagon rides on the next three Saturday evenings from 5 to 9 p.m.

The festive event provides tours of the city beginning at Jawbone Park and traveling two routes. The city is still asking for businesses and residents along the routes to show their holiday spirit by decorating – including displays of lights, trees, nativity scenes or other holiday scenes.

Not sure if your home or business is located along one of the routes? Keep reading.

This Saturday, Dec. 8 and Saturday, Dec. 22, grab a blanket and meet at Jawbone Park. The route for these two dates will travel from Jawbone Park, north on Spring Street, west on Main Street, north on Locust Street, east on Huffman Lane, north on Kanawha Street, around Willard Way, south on Spring Street, east on Main Street, south on Florida Street, west on Lincoln Street, south on Smithfield Street, west on College Avenue, south on Ritchie Street, south on Camden Avenue, north on Marion Street, continue north on Kanawha Street, east on Madison Street and north on Florida Street before returning to Jawbone Park.

On Saturday, Dec. 15, folks touring the city on the Winter Wonderland Wagon ride will travel from Jawbone Park west on Friendly Way, turn north on Kanawha Street, east on Main Street, right onto College Avenue, southwest on Lightburn Street, southeast on Meade Street to Camden Avenue, north on Camden, through the W.Va. Wesleyan College Wesley Chapel loop, south on Camden Avenue to Florida Street and north on Florida before returning to Jawbone Park.

Local scouts will be serving up delicious sweet treats and rich, creamy hot chocolate.

Jerry Arnold, director of public works for Buckhannon, said the Winter Wonderland Wagon rides are provided free of charge; however, freewill donations will be accepted. All monies received from the event will benefit the Zach Post Memorial Food Drive.

Arnold said the Winter Wonderland Wagon rides typically last 15 to 20 minutes.

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